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July 28, 2011 / maxnintendo

Review: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

Is it really out of this world?

Story

Strictly speaking, Super Mario Galaxy 2 doesn’t really have much of a tale pushing  it forward – but it does have a bit of a storyline (all be it a simple one). You  begin the game playing as the main protagonist, Mario, in a side-scrolling book- like level. As you progress through this live you slow transit from a 2D to a 3D  perspective. I felt like I was reliving years of Mario goodness in a single level. As you approach the Princess’s castle, *spoiler alert*, Bowser sweeps in and  kidnaps her. Though he’s a little bigger than before…

Obviously, Mario pursues Bowser into outer space and prepares himself for a wild  adventure throughout the galaxy on new ride, which has got a bit of a personal  touch to it…

Presentation & Graphics

Let me start by saying this is the best looking game on the system, or at least  in my opinion it is. Super Mario Galaxy 2 uses the same great engine from the  first game, but with even better graphical effects, an even more impressive  colour palette and some of the best ‘fur’ effects I’ve ever seen. The game  shines especially well when  looked at from the perspective of art-style. The  game sticks to Nintendo and Mario’s signature playful yet imaginative look that really makes the game pop. Oh, yea, and best of all this comes at no performance cost. Load times are only to be seen at the beginning of a level, and the  frame-rate remains nice and smooth throughout the whole gorgeous, charming,  galactic experience.

Sound in the game doesn’t disappoint either. Though this doesn’t exactly  incorporate full dolby digital 5.1 surround sound with thunderous,  blockbuster explosive sounds, it does a great job of elegantly providing the right tune at the right time. Speaking of tunes- expect to hear the classic, famous Super Mario tunes as well as some brand new jingles that will have  you whistling for days to come. Finally, expect to hear plenty of squeaks,  cheers, oinks and of course the famous YAHOO noises you know and love from  the world’s most popular plumber – not to mention the glorious sound of that short song when you achieve a grand star at the end of a fierce boss battle. Menus in Galaxy 2 are slick, simple yet work effectively and are easy to  navigate. Upon starting the game, you are met by a standard menu similar to  that of the previous game. You will be asked to choose a save file  (represented by your Mii, or a Nintendo character’s head). Choosing which level to do next is as simple as walking onto a small platform, from here you will be directed to a classic-style level selection system rather than the hub system from the previous game.

Gameplay & Content

The gameplay in Super Mario Galaxy 2 is absolutely phenomenal. Controls are  as responsive and easy to use as can be, level designs are nothing short of amazing, the amount of variety is mind-blowing and there are tons of  powerups that you will encounter in this highly polished, hugely varied, top-shelf game. As I mentioned the controls in this game are simple, easy to master yet completely responsive and satisfying to use. You move with  the analogue stick on the nunchuck, jump with the A button, shoot star bits (more on that later) with the B button, get a first-person closer look with the Up arrow button, crouch with the Z button and spin-attack with a simple wiggle of the Wiimote. The game features 3 kinds of collectables. The first are your standard gold coins (why are there gold coins in a trap-filled, enemy conquered world anyway?) which Mario uses to restore one of his three  health slots. If you die, all the coins you obtained in the level up to that point will be lost. At the end of each level, a high score of the amount of coins you collected is kept (which can be replayed and beaten). The  second kind of collectable is starbits, which return from the original Super Mario Galaxy game. These act as your main currency. This can be found in  virtually every level, and unlike coins, these are kept if you die. Starbits serve 2 purposes – first of all the can be fired at enemies to stun them by aiming at the screen with the Wiimote, and pressing the B button. The second use is money – starbits can be fed to hungry lumas in order to give you lives, health or even unlock new levels and galaxies, or they can be fed to other lumas who will allow you to role a dice. Depending on your luck, rolling this dice could get you up to six 1-up’s per go. Both of these collectables can be kept ‘on’ you character itself (with no risk of loosing it once you complete the level), or in a Bank Toad, which gets interest rate and allows you to share your coins and starbits with other players (in their own files). The final kind of collectable is, undoubtebly, obviously, Stars and Grand Stars. As always, these are obtained by completing a standard level (normal stars), or defeating a major boss (Bowseror Bowser Junior – these give you Grand Stars). These stars help power your spaceship, or faceship in order to progress through the galaxy and be able to  reach princess peach. Super Mario Galaxy 2 features an even larger amount of power -ups than the first – we see the return of old favourites such as Fire Mario, Bee Mario and Flying Mario, as well as some old, not-so-favourites such as Spring  Mario, and some new additions such as Cloud Mario, Rock Mario and most notably, Yoshi. Cloud Mario allows you to create a platform in mid air – up to 3 per suit. However, these are timed, they will disappear if you don’t jump off soon enough. Rock Mario takes a more destructive route – as him you can role over enemies as well as bash into obstacles and structures to destroy them. Yoshi adds whole new possibilities to the game. You will find him in an egg, which, once jumped on, will  allow you to ride him. He will give you increased speed as well as a jump which can be sustained in mid air for a few seconds. He also allows you to eat  some things and then fire them back at enemies. But now, how cruel would  Nintendo be if they gave Mario power-ups, but not Yoshi? Yea, they thought so too, that’s why Yoshi can get powers of his own. He can turn into a balloon  allowing for temporary ‘flying’ capabilities, another powerup lets Yoshi run very fast like a firework. Super Mario Galaxy 2’s main game can be completed after 70 stars (that’s when you save the princess), however this isn’t even half the picture. Another 50 stars can be obtained based on more new levels, and then another 122 stars can be obtained based on edited, or slightly different versions of the level’s you already played (normally there is a comet in the galaxies, causing conditions to change – e.g. you have a time  limit). This leaves a grand total of 242 stars to collect – this will  take well over 30 hours to complete. In Super Mario Galaxy 2 there are 6 words  followed by aseventh ‘special world’. The six normal worlds each have 4-8 galaxies, and each galaxy contains 1-4 stars in them. However the final ‘s’ star has a little more, as well as some remakes of levels from the Nintendo 64’s excellent Super Mario 64 – but I don’t want to spoil anything from this world. Most levels will include mostly platforming – however there are some ‘fighting’ (if you can call it that), as well as some racing (which is still platforming-central) and some puzzles (though these are few and far between). Many levels require no boss battles, though one in every 2-5 levels will put you up against one of many creative epic bosses, such  as this one:

At the end of every world, you are faced against a ‘mega’ boss which will either be  Bowser or Bowser Junior. The Junior battles tend to differ from each other, however  unfortunately the Bowser battles are exactly the same each time (with only a couple  of things changing – it tends to get more difficult each time). Despite this, they  are still some of the most epic boss fights ever, and the song on the last battle  with him is particularly cool.

Overall

Overall, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is an absolute masterpiece – I’d go as far to say as it’s the best game on Wii, the best game of the year, one of the best  games of this entire generation and a God on a disc. This game is absolutely  masterful -from the genius level designs, to the top-class platforming, to the colourful, attractive graphics, to the great music and epic boss battles –  all of which make up a game that will take tens of hours to complete. Super  Mario Galaxy 2 is the game you don’t want to miss.If you’ve got a Wii but  haven’t got this game, shame on you, if you don’t have a Wii, get off your freaking ass and go buy one!

Presentation – 9.5/10

Gameplay – 10/10

Content – 10/10

Overall – 10/10

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